Spring is in the Air

April showers bring May flowers.

Luckily for us, the spring rain also signals the season for Spring Break, Easter, Earth Day, and no shortage of FREE (or nearly free) fun around Kalamazoo.

We’ve rounded up plenty of affordable activities that will keep you busy, but not broke.

You’ll find unique events (bubble tricks, princess parties, piano playtimes) happening at local libraries, Earth Day events and other spring fun included in this guide.

Be sure to check out our Spring Break Guide and Easter Guide for even more spring family fun.

Did you know? It’s now even easier to find free events on the KZOOkids calendar, simply look for the FREE button next to the event!

Free (or Affordable) Fun for Kids this April

Monday, April 1

Looking for a place to talk to other parents about the joys and challenges of parenting one to three-year-olds? Attend Toddler Talk at the Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch and share with other parents while your toddler plays.

Barnes and Noble has stories, followed by coloring, and treats at Weekly Storytime. You don’t want to miss their special bookmark treasure chest.

No April Fools joke – only free bowling at Revel & Roll West on April 1. Get one hour of free bowling with shoe rental purchase.  Want to bowl free this summer? Don’t forget to sign up for the Kid’s Bowl Free program.

A repertoire ranging from contemporary ballet to hip hop performed by Western Dance Project, the touring ensemble for WMU’s Department of Dance.

Don’t be a party pooper! Hear hilarious stories about how everyone poops and learn helpful hints on potty training toddlers at Everyone Poops at Willard Library. These stories will be fun for the entire family.

 

Tuesday, April 2

Enjoy Story Hour at Three Rivers Public Library with your two to five-year-old. Books, songs, stories, movement, and fun come together for a super-charged half hour of Early Literacy Learning.

Visit the Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch as Ron Loyd the Bubbleman delights and amazes the crowd with his bubble tricks and demonstrations. FREE ticket required.

Junior Scientists can learn math and science concepts through fun hands-on experiments at the Antwerp Sunshine Branch Library. Experiments are designed for children in first grade and above, but supervised children of all ages are welcome.

Wednesday, April 3

Sweet or scary? Kids in grades third through fifth can make a Fantastic Monster Pillow at Portage District Library. Registration is required. Two times available.

Drink a cup of coffee or tea while your child plays during Mugs and Hugs play time at Vicksburg District Library.

Dress up and come rub shoulders with princesses at a very fancy story time at Ransom District Library. Teatime snacks will be available after the stories.

Thursday, April 4

Drop by the Kalamazoo Public Library Washington Square Branch to create Painted Rock Art. This event is recommended for kids in grades K through second and all materials are provided.

T-shirt capes, LEGO creations, and everything in between. Build whatever you find from the Craft Closet at Paw Paw District Library to take home.

Friday, April 5

Grab the treasure to escape the island before it sinks into the sea during Forbidden Island at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch. Designed for grades sixth through twelfth. Enjoy refreshments and other activities in between rounds.

Get your game on during Game Central at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch. Choose from board games, card games, Playstation VR, and multiple gaming systems.

Explore downtown Kalamazoo and enjoy an evening of art exhibits and events at the monthly Art Hop.

Saturday, April 6

For only $2 per person, you can catch a Planetarium show at the Kingman Museum. Peer deep into space through the eyes of the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and travel back billions of years in time to witness the birth of the universe. Afterward, stay and play at the museum for free on weekends.

Build a Bird House, perfect for spring, at the Home Depot Kids Workshop. Activity is available at the PortagePlainwell and Three Rivers Home Depot locations.

Sunday, April 7

Enjoy a spring walk at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for free at Sustaining the Vision Open House in celebration of W.K. Kellogg’s birthday. Tours will also be available at the Kellogg Manor House.

Monday, April 8

Join Portage District Library with your little one and have fun as you sing, read, rhyme and play during Baby and Toddler Storytime.

Share parenting tips, enjoy music, a story and playtime at a Kalamazoo RESA Community Playgroup.

Tuesday, April 9

Have an indoor blast at Full Blast in Battle Creek for drop-in open gym time at $2 per child. A small amount of play equipment is provided.

Leila Arboretum will bring the great outdoors inside to Willard Library at Discovering Nature. Preschoolers will find they have many things to discover including plants, sounds, flowers, bees, and birds.

You have the courage and heart to make the world around you a better place. Enjoy pizza and brainstorm ways to improve your community, school, and library at Agents of Kindness: 6th-12th Grade at Portage District Library.

Wednesday, April 10

Get ready to boogie during Move and Groove with your toddler at Three Rivers Library! There will be shaky eggs, scarves, drumsticks, bubbles, and more as you dance, move, and learn together.

Borrow a backpack, grab a list of questions and hit the trails for a Scavenger Hunt at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery.

Learn, play and improve your chess skills during Chess Club at Otsego District Library. Open to students in elementary through high school.

Thursday, April 11

Listen to the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s string quartet at Musical Storybooks at Kalamazoo Public Library Washington Square Branch. Designed for ages three to six, the event features a story, craft, and music.

Teens – bring your own colored T-shirt to Teen DYI Night at Three Rivers Public Library. Personalize your shirt with vinyl and bleach.

Friday, April 12

Hang out at Teen Scene at Otsego District Library each week to play games, watch movies and have fun. Featuring Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii gaming systems and some exciting tabletop games.

Saturday, April 13

Be an Art Detective at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, admission is free. The program teaches children ages four to eight (with an adult) how to look at and appreciate art through storytelling, guided looking and art-making.

Go Green” at the 11th Annual Green-a-Thon at Celery Flats. This family-friendly Earth Day festival is open to all and includes exhibits, games, and giveaways such as seedlings. Food will be available for purchase.

Celery Flats

Listen to the April Crybaby Concert:  Kalamazoo Brass Collective. Children under the age of five and their parents, grandparents, and siblings will enjoy a 45-minute performance of beautiful music in an open and flexible environment.

Calling all royal highness’ (and any available knights) to a Princess Party at Three Rivers Public Library. Enjoy majestic crafts, queenly games, and an appearance by real princesses.

Monday, April 15

Everyone in grades second fifth is invited to come to Lego Club at the Portage District Library. Create with friends, build whatever you can imagine, and complete exciting challenges.

Tuesday, April 16

Be a Little Scientist at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch. Take part in early literacy and STEAM activities.

Discover STEAM Stations at Otsego District Library. Drop in each week and choose one or more stations to investigate and explore. For K through fifth grade.

Wednesday, April 17

Join Ugandan musician Samuel Nalangira at Portage District Library for Drums and Music as he teaches about African drumming and dancing, and then join in and try it yourself if you like.

Thursday, April 18

Celebrate being green at Build Our Town at Three Rivers Public Libary and make a replica of the town using recycled materials. What building will you choose to recreate?

Celebrate Earth Day with a recycled craft at Tween Night at Willard Library. Students are encouraged to bring an empty cereal box, a plastic bottle, and/or an old T-shirt.

Friday, April 19

Held every Friday morning at the South Haven Memorial Library, Tunebugs is a drop-in music exploration program for children ages one through five. Sing songs, explore instruments and enjoy musical family fun.

Saturday, April 20

Celebrate community and enjoy games, food, vendors at the Comstock Community Carnival.

Explore downtown’s most recent green-and-growing addition with Earth Day Rain Garden Tours at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

Come celebrate Earth Day at Bronson Park with live music, food, vendors, fun activities for families and kids, guest speakers, and educational exhibits and displays.

Monday, April 22

Fresh air and FREE admission await at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 23

Grow a reader at Family Storytime at Portage District Library. Sing, play, rhyme and listen to stories. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required.

Come to a local Anime Meetup at Otsego District Library for fun, friends and talk about your favorite Anime/Manga artists, shows and games. Share your own art and fan-fiction!

Wednesday, April 24

Wiggle, giggle, jump, dance, sing, rhyme and enjoy a book or two on Wednesday Wigglers at Richland Library.

Use everything from Lincoln Logs to LEGO’s to build fantastic structures, animals, or whatever else you dream up at Build It at Portage District Library.

Thursday, April 25

Attend the lap-sit, Mother Goose Storytime for infants to age two at Paw Paw District Library

Think you can recreate fabulous cupcake designs? Give it a try when you learn basic decorating techniques at Cupcake Decorating at the Three Rivers Library.

Come for the pizza, stay for the fun at Pizza & Pages Teen & Tween Book Club at Otsego District Library. Share with the group what you are reading. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Friday, April 26

Get moving at the Just Move Fitness Storytime at Portage District Library as you stretch, move, and dance, dance, dance. This high energy class develops your child’s body awareness, coordination, and self-confidence.

Saturday, April 27

It’s a piano playtime not to be missed. Attend an unconventional piano recital as Gilmore Family Concerts presents their rising star, Kate Liu. Attendees can relax and enjoy coffee while kids, ages infant to age six, dance, explore, and move freely around the space during this unconventional piano recital.

Monday, April 29

Let your toddler burn energy during Toddler Open Play at Kingdom Sports. Available on Mondays and Wednesdays, year round.

Dress in jammies and enjoy a lovely family evening of your favorite bedtime stories paired with lullabies during the Kalamazoo Bach Festival at the Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.

Tuesday, April 30

Celebrate Dia de los Niños (the day of the child) with fun Latin-inspired crafts and games and a free book for every child at Three Rivers Public Library.

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